Uncovering the Hidden Job Market in Real Estate

Rosemary Gonzalez attended the event “Uncovering the Hidden Job Market in Real Estate” on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014.  Rosemary is a graduate of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and is currently a real estate agent at Citi Habitats.  She will start her Master’s in Real Estate at NYU this fall.  Wasserman@SCPS hosted the panel to help students interested in the Real Estate industry gain insight on how to effectively search for jobs.



Panelists Ashkán Zandieh from ABS Partners Real Estate, LLC, and Brett Leonhardt from Madison Realty Capital explain the importance of expanding your skill set and networking in the Real Estate industry. Both panelists graduated with a Master’s in Real Estate from the Schack Institute of Real Estate at NYU and obtained their current positions via networking. A conversation with a professor unrelated to job searching led to an interview at ABS Partners for Ashkán where he obtained a position that hadn’t even been created yet.

The key to networking is being authentic, realistic, and personable. Never ask for a job. Instead, ask questions, have a conversation, ask for advice, get to know the individual and learn from their experiences. If they hear of job opportunities, they might just reach out to you, or refer you for positions you’d never find on monster.com, careerbuilder.com, or other job search sites. Networking is the active approach to job searching. However, most of people engage in the passive approach, which involves submitting applications online.

As the presenters mentioned, “Real world networking is an art” and “You can’t even quantify how important networking is.” When reaching out to a contact at a company of interest, keep it short. Express an interest and ask to meet for coffee or breakfast. Nobody has time to read a novel about your life and why you’d be great for the company! Remember, you’re not there to ask for a job; you’re there to learn about the person and establish a relationship. LISTEN and learn. Bring something to the table by researching the individual and the company or industry before the meeting. That way you’ll not only have better questions to ask, but you’ll look prepared and genuinely interested, which will make you more likeable and memorable when a new job becomes available.

Who should be in your professional network?

EVERYONE! They may not be able to hire you, but they will have viable information, know someone that’s hiring, or they can help make you money, especially if you work on commission!

Never dismiss anyone who might be in a lower level position. Be respectful and thankful for the time you’re given regardless of their position in the company. Reach out to people on LinkedIn for informational interviews that might become your peers. It is best to reach out to potential peers who are doing work that will be somewhat similar to what you’d be doing. If they like you, they’ll like working with you and recommend you. If you dismiss them as unimportant, when they hear about open positions, they certainly won’t be recommending you to their boss.

Reaching out to the CEO will not be as effective, because it is more than likely that the CEO of a major company will NOT have time to grab coffee with you and chat. They are constantly bombarded with emails and phone calls and meetings. Your email will go unopened.

In the real estate industry, even the plumber could help you land a great position. You might not be looking to become a plumber, but the plumber might know a developer or property manager that’s looking for an analyst, broker, architect, contractor, assistant, manager, etc. You never know where your next job might come from. Be humble and treat everyone you meet with the same respect you’d give the CEO.

Are you looking to transition into a new position or industry?

Internships can not only help get your foot in the door, but it’s also an opportunity to network. Panelist Brett Leonhardt informed us that he actually took up an internship after having worked for many years as an architect. It’s difficult to go back to being an intern after having a full-time role for many years, but sometimes you need to make sacrifices to get to where you want to be. It’s also about expanding your knowledge to position yourself for career growth.

Both Ashkán and Brett returned to school to get their Master’s in Real Estate because they “wanted to learn a different language” to be successful in their careers. If you’re looking to transition within the Real Estate industry or from a different industry, you’ll need to build up your skillset. You might understand certain concepts, but if you don’t speak the industry specific language, how will you communicate effectively?

If you’re looking for a job, or looking for a new job, get out there and network, network, network!

Next steps

Want to learn more about strategies to help you uncover the hidden job market? Join Wasserman@SCPS for a Tapping the Hidden Job Market webinar on Wednesday, April 9 at 12 pm.

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